Thirty years of Christmas sermons

by Richard on December 26, 2011

A gift from Kim Fabricius to preachers everywhere…

Thirty: a Christmas sermon
via Faith and Theology

A Christmas sermon by Kim Fabricius

This is my 30th Christmas at Bethel. (I know: given my youthful good-looks, it’s hard to believe…)  In preparation, I’ve been looking at my previous 29 sermons.

On my first Christmas (which some of you will remember … Yeah, right!), I focussed on two specifics of the message of the angels to the shepherds, highlighting the personal and the now: “To you … this day …” I named names – Ernie, Gareth, Pat, …, and said, today, December 25th 1982, the good news strikes again: “A Saviour is born!  Your Saviour is born!!”  Very in-your-face.

A year later I did a Patrick Moore (today it would be BBC pin-up Professor Brian Cox) and took you star-gazing.  “Lift your heads!” I said.  “There’s another world out there that has flashed into our world like the star the wise men saw and followed, leaving their familiar ecology, recklessly risking everything in their passionate hunt for the holy, for the real, (in T. S. Eliot’s words) “no longer at ease here in the old dispensation.”  Will you raise your gaze from the flatlands of 24/7 and follow that star on a journey of faith into the New Year?  Very get-up-and-go.

Then, in 1984, I deployed a visual aid.  I borrowed a shopping trolley from the International (which became Spar, which has become Sainsbury’s) and strolled up and down the aisle filling it with the presents you brought to the service.  So full, in fact, that they covered the child’s seat – which was precisely my point: in all the clutter of our lives, no room for the child.  But – more – God is a God who “makes room” – that’s what the Hebrew word for “salvation” literally means – “roominess”.  “So make room for the Christ-child!” I exclaimed, as I cleared the seat in the trolley.  What a clever-clogs I thought I was!

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Thirty years of Cristmas sermons | connexions - Sermon Ideas, Notes, and more - Sermon Impact
12.27.11 at 6:48 am

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }


tortoise 12.26.11 at 7:46 pm

Writer’s block finally struck this Christmas, eh Kim? :-p


Richard 12.26.11 at 11:01 pm

Comes to us all!


Pam 12.28.11 at 6:27 am

To celebrate thirty years here’s some Francis Webb:

Back Street in Calcutta

I have walked among you sorriest skeletons,
Observed that pain is a vacuum - nothing good,
Crevasses in the flesh, emergence of bones;
A little guiltily I shall take my food,
I shall sit playing Bruckner, have his tones
Awaken some pain and anger; then relax,
Or dim sad concepts of order fill my veins:
Of beauty I’ll sing to you silent on your backs.

In all your agonies O spare compassion
For me, the well lined and articulate fool
Who knows he tears you, stretched so still, to live.
Tormented flesh that is my flesh, forgive!
And lap around my deathbed like a pool
That starving I may make a true, final confession.


Richard 12.28.11 at 8:45 am

Hope you’ve had/are having (depending on your perspective) a good Christmas, Pam.


Pam 12.28.11 at 8:59 am

All my family were home for Christmas, so it was a very good one. Some more family arriving in the new year & staying for two weeks - so there’ll be plenty of time spent at the beach (no bluebottles please) and lots of time spent in the kitchen (by me!).
Thanks for asking Richard.


Mark Byron 12.29.11 at 3:43 pm

You write younger than you are; I somehow didn’t picture you as AARP material (or the British equivalent). However, I probably write younger than I am as well; after a while, immature becomes “youthful”.


Pam 12.30.11 at 12:06 am

Nobody can top St Paul’s writing about charity (love) but The Bard comes pretty close, especially in the sublime Sonnet 116.

For Kim.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds;
Or bends, with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken,
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.


Kim 12.30.11 at 1:24 pm

Hey Pam - my wife (Angie) and I have just returned from a wedding in mid-Wales — and guess what Shakespeare sonnet was read during the service …?


Pam 12.30.11 at 9:14 pm



alice (blonde!) 01.02.12 at 11:52 pm

Dear Kim
I miss you! so good to see you - briefly, confusingly! - at holy trinity. thank you for your inspiring and thoughtprovoking words over the years - tho I’ve only been here 13 of them not 30. eek, I was 4 when you started, and sarah and pamela born that year - hadn’t thought of uni at that stage! happy new year, and happy 30th!!
alice x


Kim 01.03.12 at 9:07 am

Yes, it was great to see you too, Alice (you’re as easy on the eye as ever!) — and your kids (I hadn’t realised there is now a third!), who look brilliant. May you all have a fabulous New Year.


alice 01.04.12 at 3:04 pm

Thanks Kim! Complete aside but you said you hadn’t seen anything about the opening and inauguration of the Michael Blakey Memorial Hostels so here is the link:

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